Aboriginal Visual Arts

This program provides you with skill development in the traditional and contemporary crafts of the Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqey and Passamaquoddy Peoples. You learn the Aboriginal history of the Atlantic Region and work 1-on-1 with Aboriginal artists. You gain hands-on experience via a project-based curriculum with an entrepreneurial focus.

Through applied research, critical discourse and self-reflection, you engage in experimentation and creative problem solving. You learn about written and visual communications for artists and entrepreneurs, art history, drawing and 2D/3D design. You create a portfolio that celebrates the power of your imagination and can be used to launch your artistic career.

By the end of this program, you will have demonstrated the ability to create a personal body of work representing technical skill, aesthetic sensitivity and cultural awareness, and have the capacity to work within the creative economy.


Aboriginal Visual Arts is a 2-year Diploma program and is unique within Canadian higher education due to its emphasis on the traditional Aboriginal learning of the Wabanaki Territory of the Atlantic Region and is achieved over 6 semesters of study from September to June.

Interested in finding out more?
Contact: The Registrar’s Office, toll free, 1-877-400-1107 or email nbccdrecruiting@gnb.ca

Curriculum Guide
Areas of Study
  • Ash and Birch Bark Basketry
  • Quillwork and Beading
  • Drum and Traditional Paddle Making
  • Wood Carving and Sculpture
  • Archaeology and Aboriginal History
  • Entrepreneurship and Business Practices
Course List

Fall 1

  • Wabanaki Media I
  • Aboriginal Iconography Mixed-Media
  • Aboriginal Art History
  • Writing for Visual Artists

Winter 1

  • Wabanaki Media 2
  • Wood: An Introduction to Shaping
  • The Land, The Spirit, The Art
  • Entrepreneurship: Aboriginal Networking

Spring 1

  • Aboriginal Media: Individual Exploration
  • Archaeology: Prehistoric Craft and Culture in the Northeast

Fall 2

  • Aboriginal Studio: Making Your Mark
  • Wood: From Tree to Product
  • Entrepreneurship: Business Planning

Winter 2

  • Aboriginal Studio: Refining Your Style
  • Myths, Stories and Art
  • Entrepreneurship: Digital Communications

Choose one of the following three:

  • Designing Bodies
  • Book Art Design
  • Art for Social Change

Spring 2

  • Aboriginal Studio: Major
Admission Requirements


  • $50 Application Fee CAD (1)
  • An official Transcript of Marks indicating 1 of the following:
    • High school diploma (2)
    • GED
    • Adult High School Diploma
    • Equivalent experience will be considered (3) Review of the above may lead to a personal interview

(1) The $50 non-refundable application fee applies to Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents, and is subject to change without notice. International applicants pay a $100 Canadian application fee. See International Students for more information.

(2) If your official public high school transcript indicates a adjusted level in English and/or Mathematics, your application will require additional evaluation. (see below)

(3) Equivalencies to all academic admission requirements are evaluated through Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR).


In addition:

    • You must meet our English language proficiency requirement.
    • We accept a Grade 11 or 12 interim transcript until your final official Grade 12 Transcript of Marks is available.
    • Applicants Requiring Additional Evaluation
      • Mature Applicant: If you are at least 21 years of age and do not meet the academic requirements but are a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident, you may be assessed as a Mature Applicant. Mature Applicants may be required to show through an interview that they posses the potential to proceed with their studies.
      • Non-Public: If you have been educated in a context other than a public-school environment, have not taken standardized tests and do not have transcripts that have been validated by a government recognized educational authority, you will be assessed through our College Counsellor.
      • Special Admissions: If you have a High School Transcript of Marks indicating adjusted English and/or Mathematics, you will be assessed through our College Counsellor.
Career Possibilities

With an entrepreneurial focus, this program prepares you to establish your own small businesses, be employed, or continue in Advanced Studio Practice Program at NBCCD or at other leading institutions in Canada and beyond.

Professional opportunities upon graduation include:

  • Artisan, Craftsperson and Other Visual Artist
  • Entrepreneur/Business Owner
  • First Nations Art Teacher in First Nations Communities
Apply Now

Go to the Admission Requirements to start the application process. This page will also provide more details and info on where to mail your transcript of marks, cash, cheques and/or money order.

Study Aboriginal arts and be part of our family at NBCCD!

Jun 1

Student Loans: Check your Provincial/Territorial Student Financial Assistance Website for Details on When/How to Apply for Next Year's Funding

Jun 5

Spring Term Ends

Jun 11

Return College Property/Clean out Lockers

Jun 12


New Brunswick College of Craft & Design

Visit Our Campus

The best way to find out if NBCCD is the place for you is to visit our campus for a guided tour. During your tour, you will have the opportunity to chat with instructors, meet current students, see student work and observe in-class demos. Tours are available Mondays and Tuesdays. Contact us at nbccdrecruiting@gnb.ca to schedule your tour today!

* Indicates a required field

New Brunswick College of Craft & Design

Learn more about what we have to offer

* Indicates a mandatory field

I would like the College to send me a digital Viewbook by emailI would like the College to send me a Viewbook by mailI would like a College Tour